What Is Bloom's Taxonomy? Exploring Differentiated Homework

Author: Antoinette Morris

Posted: 23 Nov 2023

Estimated time to read: 5 mins

Developed by educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom in 1956, Bloom's Taxonomy has become a cornerstone in designing educational objectives and assessments. In this blog post, we'll delve deeper into Bloom's Taxonomy and explore the advantages of incorporating differentiated homework in your school to better cater to diverse learning needs.

What is Bloom's Taxonomy?

At its core, Bloom's Taxonomy is a hierarchical framework that classifies educational objectives into six levels, arranged in ascending order of complexity. These levels, often visualized as a pyramid, are Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate and Create. Each level represents a progressively sophisticated cognitive skill, guiding educators in crafting learning experiences that promote effective thinking. 

Remember: The base of Bloom's pyramid is 'Remember.' At this level, learners are expected to recall information, facts, and concepts. This lays the groundwork for more advanced cognitive processes. Examples of Remember-level tasks include learning vocabulary, listing key dates and identifying basic principles.

Understand: Moving up the pyramid, 'Understand' requires learners to comprehend and interpret information. This involves explaining ideas in their own words, summarizing concepts or illustrating relationships between different elements. A grasp of understanding ensures that learners can move beyond rote memorization to internalize the meaning of the content.


Apply: Once the foundation is set, learners progress to the 'Apply' level. Here, they utilise acquired knowledge in new contexts. This might involve solving problems, conducting experiments or applying theoretical concepts to practical scenarios. The goal is to demonstrate a deeper understanding by successfully using acquired knowledge in diverse situations.


Analyse: 'Analyse' challenges learners to break down information into its constituent parts, examining the relationships between elements. This level of cognition involves recognizing patterns, identifying causes and effects and discerning the underlying structures within the content. Analytical thinking is crucial for developing a nuanced understanding of complex topics.

Evaluate: 'Evaluate' is the level at which learners critically assess information, arguments or theories and are asked to make judgments based on criteria and evidence. This involves discerning the strengths and weaknesses of various perspectives, fostering the ability to form well-founded opinions and evaluations.


Create: At the pinnacle of Bloom's Taxonomy is 'Create.' This level challenges learners to synthesize information from various sources to generate original ideas or products. Whether it's writing a research paper, composing a piece of music or designing an experiment, the creation level reflects the highest order of cognitive skills.


Blooms Taxonomy with labels (2)


Bloom's Taxonomy and the power of differentiated homework

The link between Bloom's Taxonomy and differentiated homework lies in the alignment of instructional strategies and assessment methods with the cognitive levels outlined by Bloom's framework. 

Here's how Bloom's Taxonomy and differentiated homework are interconnected:


Consider the relationship between cognitive levels and task complexity

Bloom's Taxonomy: Each level of Bloom's Taxonomy represents a different cognitive skill, progressing from basic recall of information to higher-order thinking such as analysis, evaluation, and synthesis.

Differentiated Homework: Differentiation acknowledges that students have varying levels of readiness and learning styles. By aligning homework tasks with the cognitive levels of Bloom's Taxonomy, educators can create assignments that cater to the diverse abilities of their students.


Customise learning

Bloom's Taxonomy: Teachers use Bloom's Taxonomy to define clear and measurable learning objectives. This ensures that the objectives align with the intended cognitive depth of understanding.

Differentiated Homework: Educators can differentiate homework assignments by tailoring them to the specific cognitive levels that match individual students' abilities. This customization ensures that each student receives tasks that are appropriately challenging and aligned with their current level of understanding.


Encourage effective thinking 

Bloom's Taxonomy: The taxonomy is designed to encourage the development of higher-order thinking skills. Analyzing, evaluating, and creating require more cognitive effort than remembering or understanding.

Differentiated Homework: Assignments can be differentiated to provide opportunities for students to engage in higher-order thinking based on their readiness. This helps in promoting critical thinking and deep understanding of the content.


Adapt to learning styles and preferences 

Bloom's Taxonomy: Each level of Bloom's Taxonomy represents a different cognitive skill, progressing from basic recall of information to higher-order thinking such as analysis, evaluation, and synthesis.

Differentiated Homework: By aligning tasks with Bloom's Taxonomy, educators can cater to various learning preferences. Visual and hands-on activities may be incorporated for tasks at the 'Create' level, while written assignments could be emphasized for tasks at the 'Evaluate' level.


In summary, the link between Bloom's Taxonomy and differentiated homework is a symbiotic one. By using Bloom's Taxonomy as a guide, educators can design differentiated homework that meets the diverse needs of students, fosters higher-order thinking, and provides a more personalised and effective learning experience. The combination of these approaches enhances the overall quality of education by addressing the unique strengths and challenges of each learner.

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